Official website of the Department of Homeland Security
NOTICE TO USERS: READ NOW
This notice sets forth a revision of the terms and conditions that must be followed as a condition for
access to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Secure Data Portal (ACE Portal). These terms and
conditions supersede and replace the Terms and Conditions documents previously signed and submitted to
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) by ACE Portal Account Owners. The previous Terms and Conditions
documents were not published in any public document but were provided to ACE Portal Account applicants
after their acceptance into the test. For those ACE Portal Accounts already on file with CBP with the
proper Account Owner listed, no further action is required by the ACE Portal Account Owner. The principal
changes to the terms and conditions include a revised definition of ‘Account Owner’ to permit either an
individual or a legal entity to serve in this capacity, new requirements relating to providing notice to
CBP when there has been a material change in the status of the Account and/or Account Owner, and
explanatory provisions as to how the information from a particular account may be accessed through the
ACE Portal when that account is transferred to a new owner. These terms and conditions do not affect
participants in ACE who have not established Portal Accounts but who do participate via less formal
Effective Dates: The terms and conditions set forth in
this document must be followed as a condition for access to the ACE Portal effective immediately.
Addresses: Please send your comments concerning this notice via
email to: CSPO@dhs.gov.
For Further Information Contact: Please send your comments via
email to: AASD.Assistance@cbp.dhs.gov.
On May 1, 2002, the former U.S. Customs Service, now U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), published
a General Notice in the Federal Register (67 FR 21800) announcing a plan to conduct a National Customs
Automation Program (NCAP) test of the first phase of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The test
was described as the first step toward the full electronic processing of commercial importations with a
focus on defining and establishing an importer's account structure. This General Notice announced that
importers and authorized parties would be allowed to access their customs data via a web-based Account
The notice set forth eligibility criteria for companies interested in establishing accounts (commonly
known as Portal Accounts) accessible through the ACE Portal, and limited participants in the ACE test to
importers already participating in the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Program who
had access to the Internet. Upon an applicant's selection into the test, Customs would require additional
information for inclusion in the account profile.
Certain subsequent notices eliminated the requirement of participation in the C-TPAT Program (see, e.g.,
General Notice published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2005 (70 FR 5199)) and expanded the universe
of eligible participants in the ACE test and the types of ACE Portal Accounts, while establishing guidelines
for account management, as described below.
On February 4, 2004, CBP published two General Notices in the Federal Register, which established the ACE
Truck Carrier Accounts and opened the application period for authorized importers and their designated brokers
to participate in the NCAP test to implement the Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS) process (see 69 FR 5360 and
69 FR 5362, respectively). Brokers were invited to establish Broker Accounts in ACE in order to participate
in the NCAP test to implement PMS.
In both February 4, 2004, General Notices, CBP advised participants that they could designate only one person
as the Account Owner for the company's ACE Portal account. The Account Owner was identified as the party
responsible for safeguarding the company's ACE Portal account information, controlling all disclosures of that
information to authorized persons, authorizing user access to the ACE Portal account information, and ensuring
the strict control of access by authorized persons to the ACE Portal information.
On September 8, 2004, CBP published a General Notice in the Federal Register (69 FR 54302) inviting customs
brokers to participate in the ACE Portal test generally and informing interested parties that once they had
been notified by CBP that their request to participate in the ACE Portal test had been accepted, they would be
asked to sign and submit a Terms and Conditions document. CBP subsequently contacted those participants and asked
them to also sign and submit a Power of Attorney form and an Additional Account/Account Owner Information form.
CBP has also enabled certain parties to participate in any ACE test without establishing ACE Portal accounts.
On October 24, 2005, CBP published a General Notice in the Federal Register (70 FR 61466) announcing that
importers, whether or not C-TPAT certified, could become ACE non-portal accounts and participate in the PMS test,
under certain conditions. Additionally, on March 29, 2006, CBP published another General Notice in the Federal
Register (71 FR 15756) announcing that truck carriers who do not have ACE Truck Carrier Accounts may use third
parties to transmit truck manifest information on their behalf electronically in the ACE Truck Manifest system,
via EDI messaging. Parties choosing to participate in any ACE test without an ACE Portal account, such as those
identified here and any others that CBP may identify in the future, are not bound by the Terms and Conditions
The purpose of the Terms and Conditions document that participants were asked to sign was to set forth the
obligations and responsibilities of those parties accessing an ACE Portal account on behalf of an Account.
An ACE Portal account, as employed in that document, referred to a party who had volunteered to participate
in any ACE test and had an ACE Portal account. Presently, ACE Portal accounts may be established by any of the
following business categories meeting the below listed eligibility requirements:
To date, CBP has required that the Account Owner sign and submit the Terms and Conditions document prior to
accessing the ACE Portal. If the Terms and Conditions document was not signed and submitted to CBP, CBP would
deny access to the ACE Portal for the Account Owner. The trade community has provided numerous comments to
CBP describing the burdens imposed by the requirement that the Account Owner sign and submit the Terms and
Conditions document prior to accessing the ACE Portal. In response, CBP is publishing the terms and conditions
governing ACE Portal access in this Federal Register Notice (FRN). The publication of the terms and conditions
in this FRN replaces the requirement that the Account Owner sign and submit a Terms and Conditions document
Any Terms and Conditions document previously signed and submitted by any Account Owner is null and void,
having been superseded and replaced by the Terms and Conditions set forth in this FRN. Any present ACE Portal
account with a Terms and Conditions document already on file with CBP will not be required to change the designation
of its Account Owners unless the Account would prefer to designate a new Account Owner, consistent with the
definition of Account Owner that is set forth below. If the Account chooses to change its Account Owner designation,
the Account will be required to sign and submit to CBP an Account Owner Designation/Authorization form.
The Terms and Conditions set forth in this FRN will appear on the introductory screen for the ACE Portal. Any
party seeking access to the ACE Portal will be required to accept those Terms and Conditions as set forth on the
screen and in this FRN. As ACE expands and includes other portal account types beyond the importer, broker and carrier
ACE Portal accounts that exist today, further modifications to the Terms and Conditions may occur.
With the publication of this FRN, CBP is also amending the requirements set forth in the General Notices published
on February 4, 2004 (and referenced above) pertaining to the designation of the ‘Account Owner.’ Specifically,
those notices limited the participants to the designation of only one person as the Account Owner who would be
responsible for the company's portal account information. The Terms and Conditions documents presently on file with
CBP define the Account Owner as ‘any individual identified and authorized by the Account to serve as the
representative of the Account relating to the administration of access to the Account's information through the
Upon review, CBP is revising the definition of ‘Account Owner.’ This revised definition of the Account
Owner supersedes and replaces any former definition for the Account Owner. Whereas the former definition of Account
Owner referred to a person or individual, CBP has now determined that a more appropriate definition for the Account
Owner includes any ‘legal entity’ identified and authorized by the Account to serve as the representative of
that Account relating to the administration of access to the Account's information through the ACE Portal. Accordingly,
the Account may also choose to designate itself to be its own Account Owner.
The revisions of the Terms and Conditions set forth in this FRN include additional requirements, specifically
those which require notice to CBP when there has been a material change in the status of the Account and/or Account
Owner, as well as access to historical information in the event of the transfer of control of an IR number, filer
code, or SCAC.
This document sets forth the obligations and responsibilities that must be followed as a condition for access
to the Automated Commercial Environment (‘ACE’) Secure Data Portal (hereinafter,
Information contained in ACE and accessed through the ACE Portal includes confidential commercial or financial
information that pertains to the Account. Information in ACE is, generally, protected under the provisions of the
Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a), and the Trade Secrets Act
(18 U.S.C. 1905). No private party will be permitted access to information pertaining to an account absent the
authorization of the Account. No governmental agency outside of the Department of Homeland Security will be
permitted access to information that pertains to an account, unless the access is otherwise authorized by law
(e.g., Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act, Trade Secrets Act, etc.).
Information accessed through the ACE Portal that derives from another Agency of the United States Government
is subject to the ‘Third Party Rule,’ which separately requires the approval of that other agency
before the information may be disseminated beyond the Account Owner and any Account User.
CBP reserves the right to monitor access to the ACE Portal. CBP also reserves the right to disapprove any
authorization of access to the ACE Portal for reasons pertaining to the security of ACE, mission of CBP, or
National Security. The fact that one participates in the ACE test is not confidential.
The term ‘Account’ as employed in this document refers to a business entity that has volunteered
to participate in an ACE test. The Account may designate only one Account Owner for the Account.
The Account Owner is any individual or other legal entity identified and authorized by the Account to serve
as the representative of the Account and is responsible for the administration of access to the Account's
information through the ACE Portal.
If the Account chooses to designate a legal entity other than an individual as the Account Owner, the Account
Owner must also designate an individual as the single point of contact for the Account. In all cases, there must
be a single individual who is responsible for the administration of access to the Account's information
through the ACE Portal.
A Proxy Account Owner is any individual identified and authorized by either the Account or the Account Owner
to access information that pertains to the Account through the ACE Portal. The authority of the Proxy Account
Owner includes the designation of other Account Users, but may be limited by the Account Owner. In no case may
a Proxy Account Owner designate other Proxy Account Owners.
An Account User is any individual identified and authorized by the Account Owner or Proxy Account Owner to
access information that pertains to the Account through the ACE Portal.
The Account Owner, Proxy Account Owner, and any Account Users are responsible for ensuring the accuracy and
confidentiality of any information they submit through the ACE Portal to CBP, and are also responsible for
complying with the record-keeping requirements in accordance with law including, but not limited to,
19 U.S.C. 1508 and 1509.
The failure of an Account Owner to access the ACE Portal for a period of forty-five (45) days, consecutively,
will result in the termination of access to the ACE Portal. Access may be restored by calling the Help Desk
or by following the ‘forgot your password’ prompt found on the ACE Portal log-in page.
The failure of a Proxy Account Owner or an Account User to access the ACE Portal for a period of
forty-five (45) days, consecutively, will result in the termination of access to the ACE Portal for the
Proxy Account Owner or Account User. Access may only be restored upon re-authorization by the Account Owner.
In the event of a transfer of control of an IR number, filer code, and/or SCAC, the acquiring company
will obtain access to historical information associated with that IR number, filer code, and/or SCAC.
In the event that the acquired company also requires access to the historical information associated with
the transfer of control of an IR number, filer code, and/or SCAC, the acquired company's access to that
information may be obtained by either downloading the historical information prior to the date of sale
or the transfer of control of an IR number, filer code, and/or SCAC, or by making a Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) request to CBP of a download of that information after the sale or the transfer of control
of an IR number, filer code, and/or SCAC. In the alternative, the acquired company may request to be
made a user on the acquiring company's Account.